Sometimes, it feels like the bad news will never end. Day after day, the headlines shout at us about violence, racism, hatred, deceit, murder, exploitation, and cruelty. The suffering we are faced with each day is almost too much to take. From the most appalling scenes of war to the meanness visited on an individual animal, each horrific act pierces our hearts, leaving tiny scars that we must quickly heal in order to continue functioning in the world.
But, as writers, it is impossible to stop our minds from extrapolating each headline into an endless and ever-expanding universe of stories. We reconstruct the tragedies in our minds with the hard clarity, realism, and depth of emotion that is part of the storyteller’s craft. We ask questions, ponder the “what ifs,” and – perhaps most frightening of all – we project ourselves into the future, playing out the possible ways the story might end.
I do not despair that all is lost, but we do seem – as a global culture – to be living through some particularly dark times. I want to write that these are “trying” times, but that seems a deeply inadequate way to describe them.
I hardly have coherent thoughts to offer, never mind answers, as heartbreaking headlines continue to pour in from around the globe. But, in case you are feeling, as I am, a little overwhelmed this week, I thought I would re-share a few posts from the archives – posts that might offer a small comfort or at least reassurance that you are not alone in feeling the hurts of the world.
Be well. Have hope. Write on.
I’ve been struggling with something lately. Though I intentionally minimize my news consumption (and try to restrict myself to the least sensationalist sources), I can’t help but notice that the world has gone a little mad. It’s scary out there. (Read more …)
More people should write.
They should write about their days and their dreams, about their hopes and their fears, about their families and their histories and their possible futures. They should write lists and poems and wild ramblings that sound like the intoxicated rantings of a idiot savant. They should tell stories, wonderful, improbable, made-up stories. They should sink or dig or dive or fall or claw their way into that place inside where the stories live, and pull them out like blunt-edged gems from deep within the living, breathing earth. (Read more …)
Sometimes, the gravity of real life threatens to pull me out of my creative orbit. The inescapable responsibility of being human weighs heavily – the “Real World” of work, relationships, and surviving on this fragile planet crushing in on me like pressure on an ascending deep sea diver. (Read more…)
Books I’m Reading:
This week, I finished listening to the third book in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series, Abhorsen. I think that the Kirkus review says it all:
“Terror, courage, bitterness, love, desperation, and sacrifice all swirl together in an apocalyptic climax that pits both Life and Death together against the destruction of everything … This one is breathtaking, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable.”
When things feel too scary in the real world, I take comfort from stories in which good triumphs over evil. Reading these tales almost becomes a kind of mantra to keep the feelings of hopelessness at bay. I am inspired, even though I know intellectually that the characters I’m reading about are not real. Though they may not live and breathe in this world, they were dreamed up and brought to life by someone who believes that such courage and goodness can exist.
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My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:
- 5 Pieces of Writing Advice You Should Ignore via @janefriedman
- To Write Better, Read Better by @theladygreer
PUBLISHING & MARKETING
- Four Strategies to survive automated writing and content bots by @markwschaefer
- 3 Ways You Should Be Following Up to Maximize Your Profit by @taragentile
- Do You Lock Your Best Ideas in a Vault? by @janefriedman
- The Magic of the Book: Hermann Hesse on Why We Read and Always Will via @brainpicker
THE WRITING LIFE
- Your job is to build a cage that can catch luck as it flies by by @jccabel
- Be A Triple Threat: Take Care of Your Mental, Physical & Emotional Health by @valjonescoach
- How to Overcome Writer’s Burnout by @McgannKellie
- Why Successful Freelancers Must Make Time for Self-Care by @jkwak
- Freelancers Need Vacation Too via @digaboom
Finally, a quote for the week:
Instead of a quote this week, a little song with a big truth.
Here’s to loving and being loved.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.